Maynard Bixby was born in Wyalusing, Pennsylvania June 28, 1853, the son of George Maynard Bixby and Jane "Jennie" Welles. George Bixby married Jennie Welles ca. 1851, and on the 1860 census for Wyalusing, Pennsylvania he appears with Jennie (age 38), and children Maynard Bixby (age 7, b.1852/3), Charles (5), George (4) and Ella (1). The same family appears on the Wyalusing census in 1870, except that Jennie has apparently died; George is listed as a "dry goods merchant, retail" and Maynard as "clerk in store," presumably his father's store.
Maynard and his brother George both graduated from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania in 1876. In 1880 George (age 59) was still in Wyalusing and had remarried to a woman named Clarra, by whom he had two young children. His older children Charles, Maynard and Ella, however, had moved out and were living together in Wilkes Barre, PA where Maynard worked as a bookkeeper and studied law, while Charles worked as a bank teller, and Ellen kept house for them. Maynard then traveled the country for a while, becoming involved in mining in Colorado and Arizona, and working for the Western Electric Company in Chicago. He spent a couple of years in Europe and also worked for Western Electric in New York.
Maynard Bixby took a trip to England in 1884, returning to the U.S. aboard the City of Rome, which sailed from Liverpool and docked in New York on 28 Oct 1884. He took a similar trip 5 years later in 1889-- perhaps these were mineral collecting trips. On that occasion he returned to the U.S. aboard the Servia, which sailed from Liverpool and arrived in New York on 13 May 1889. It seems possible that this latter trip might have been a honeymoon trip as well, but Katherine is not listed with him on the passenger list (wherein he is listed as a "miner"). According to the 1910 census for Salt Lake City, he and Katherine were married ca. 1888, but according to the 1930 census they had married in 1890 when he was 36 and she was 31.
In any case, they were in Denver by 1890 and had moved to Salt Lake City shortly thereafter. Maynard explored the Thomas Range in Utah for minerals and staked several claims for topaz. One, the Maynard claim, is still being mined for specimens. The mineral bixbyite, which he discovered there, was named in his honor by Penfield and Foote in 1897. The red beryl also found there was named bixbite in his honor, but was later discredited as a variety. Bixby also wrote articles for The Mineral Collector, including "A collector in Colorado" (1894), "A description of topaz crystals, their localities and occurrences in Utah" (1895), "Idaho opals" (1894), "Montana sapphires" (1896), "Notable minerals in western mines" (1894-1895), "Notes on Collecting in Utah" (1897), "Notes on western minerals"(1896), "Pseudomorphs from Utah" (1895), "Rambles in Montana" (1896), "Topaz and other western minerals" (1896), "A trip to Globe, Arizona" (1897), "A trip to the Utah desert" (1897), "A Trip to the Old Jordan and Galena Mines, Bingham, Utah" (1896), "Utah notes" (1894). In the December 1896 issue of The Mineral Collector Bixby published his first ad, full-page, saying: "For several years I have collected the very finest of the Utah minerals and have concluded to offer them direct to collectors at the following low prices ..." In 1902 he published the first edition of his authoritative A Catalogue of Utah Minerals and Localities, and by 1916 had issued a fouth edition.
Maynard and Katherine Bixby had four children between 1888 and 1900, but only one of them (Ethel, born in New York in 1889) was still living in 1900, the others having died young. Maynard's occupation is listed as "mining" in 1910 and he was self-employed. The 1890 census was destroyed by fire, but Maynard is listed in the Denver City Directory in 1890, so at least we know where he was. On the 1900 census for Salt Lake City he listed himself as a "mining broker."
Maynard Bixby appears again on the 1920 census for Salt Lake City, but in 1925 he and his wife Catherine "M. S." Bixby and unmarried daughter Ethel moved to San Diego, California. And it is there that they both died: Katherine died on 11 Sept 1931 and Maynard Bixby died on 18 Feb 1935, at the age of 81. It's unfortunate that Katherine predeceased Maynard, because she would have been the best one to write his obituary (none has been found in the California newspapers).
MITCHELL, R. S. (1987) Who's who in mineral names: John George Cowles and Maynard Bixby. Rocks & Minerals, 62, 120-123.
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WILSON, Wendell E. (2018)
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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||Maynard Bixby's ad in the December 1896 issue of The Mineral Collector.|